Lemon Law: The Vital Protection Of Car Buyers In The Philippines

Lemon Law: The Vital Protection Of Car Buyers In The Philippines

May 27, 2021 0 By onroadtips

The Lemon Law in the Philippines is officially known as the Republic Act No. 10642, which is meant to better protect consumers when they buy brand new motor vehicles. The law is aimed to ensure full protection of consumer rights against unfair, deceptive trade practices and businesses that attempt to steal consumers of their advantages.

What is a lemon law and how does it work?

If you are wondering about the Lemon Law meaning, under the Lemon Law Philippines, those who buy new motor vehicles in the country are protected within 12 months after the date when the vehicle is delivered or within the first 20,000 km of the vehicle’s operation after its delivery. It allows the owner to report any thing about the vehicle that does not comply with the manufacturer’s and distributor’s standards.

Complaints should be in written form and sent to the distributor, manufacturer, dealer, or retailer along with their intention to use the Lemon Law. However, it’s worth noting that you can only involve this law after trying to have the vehicle fixed 4 times or more at the same manufacturer, dealer, distributor, or retailer, not to mention the conditions mentioned above.

The lemon law is applied to consumers who buy a new motor vehicle
The law is applied to consumers who buy a new motor vehicle

Now that you have got an idea of what the Lemon Law is, it’s time to learn about the cases in which you cannot rely on this law.

  • Failure to comply with obligations under the warranty.
  • Modifications without authorization from the manufacturer, authorized dealer, distributor or retailer.
  • Neglect or abuse of the vehicle.
  • Damage due to force majeure or accidents.

After the written notification is received, the owner is expected to bring the motor vehicle to the retailer, authorized dealer, distributor, or manufacturer for the final attempt the fix the problem.

If all these efforts to fix the vehicle still fail, the owner can then file a complaint to the Department of Trade and Industry. Nevertheless, within 30 days after the final repair attempt is complete, if the owner does not return the vehicle, the attempt is deemed successful, meaning the Lemon Law is not applicable.

The owner of the vehicle is provided with a daily transportation allowance as compensation for the days it’s under repair and not in use under the Lemon Law. The amount should cover the commute expenses to help the owner go to and from their residence to their daily workplace or destination. This amount must be either shown in official receipt or agreed in advance by all parties involved.

the owner must take the car to repair at least 4 times
The owner must take the car to repair at least 4 times

The ruling of the Department of Trade and Industry

If the Department of Trade and Industry rules that there’s non-conformity with the vehicle, the manufacturer, authorized dealer, retailer, or distributor have to take responsibility in one of the following ways:

  • Replace the faulty vehicle with another one that has the same or comparable specifications and value.
  • Take the vehicle back, refund the consumer and pay collateral charges.

The consumer may buy another vehicle with a higher price from the manufacture, authorized dealer, distributor, or retailer held in account but they will have to pay the difference.

If it's ruled that the vehicle is faulty, the owner can choose to buy a new car
If it’s ruled that the vehicle is faulty, the owner can choose to buy a new car

However, if the DTI rules that there’s no nonconformity, the owner has to pay the money used to validate their complaint by the manufacturer, authorized dealer, distributor, or retailer.

It’s said in the Republic Act No. 10642 that the party ruled accountable for the conformity may file an appeal against the final judgment or order within 15 days from the receipt. The Secretary of the DTI will then decide what to do with the appeal within 30 days from the receipt.

In the end, the manufacturer, authorized dealer, distributor, or retailer may resell the motor vehicle provided that they disclose required information to the next buyer, including:

  • The motor vehicle was returned
  • The nature of the conformity causing the return
  • The condition of the vehicle at the time it was transferred to the manufacturer, authorized dealer, distributor, or retailer

After that, the manufacturer, authorized dealer, distributor, or retailer is no longer responsible for the first buyer.

So, here’s all the information you need to know about the Lemon Law in the Philippines, including how it works, involved procedures, and responsibilities among parties. We hope Onroadtips has helped you understand this matter thoroughly in case you get in the same situation. Good luck!